How to Build an In-House Video Production Team

Deciding whether to outsource your video projects or hire a team in-house can have a huge impact on your business.

Both approaches have their pros and cons. Outsourcing is great way to get the professional help you need for one-off projects with tight deadlines…

But hiring out a lot of video work can get expensive quickly.

What if you're planning on producing a lot of video content?

What if you want to make it a central part of your media strategy over the next few years?

In those situations, taking your video needs in-house could be well worth the investment.

That's exactly what successful companies like Wistia, MailChimp, and HootSuite have done. Plenty more companies are following their lead, opting to hire their own video team instead of outsourcing.

You can do this too. Follow the steps below, and you'll make the transition as smooth and profitable as possible.

Surround Yourself with the Team and Equipment You Need to Succeed

An in-house video team affords you unparalleled convenience and, assuming you hire a competent team and invest in good equipment, doesn't force you to sacrifice on video quality.

Developing your own team in-house also allows you to surround yourself with people who: 1) fully understand your long-term business vision, and 2) are 100% committed to seeing it succeed.

But the thought of doing this from scratch can be daunting…

How do you get started?

This process doesn't have to be a nightmare. Here's how to handle it in a few simple steps:

Step 1. Define Your Top Priorities and Figure out How Much to Invest

Everywhere you look, you'll find all kinds of different companies – retailers, automobile companies, restaurants, and many more – using video to expand their media presence.

You've heard of video's incredible potential. You've probably already seen the results firsthand before committing to taking things in-house. There's definitely pressure to “be everywhere” with your video and integrate it into every aspect of your business. After all, that's what the big players are doing!

That thought might seem expensive and overwhelming right now, but it doesn't need to be. You can develop your in-house team without breaking the bank.

Start by considering your most pressing priorities you'd like to tackle with video. You might want to “be everywhere” eventually. but if you could use video in just a few places, where would they be?

Get this clear in your mind before going any further. That way you won't get sidetracked by all the new “shiny objects” (equipment, software, specialized skills) commercial video has to offer. This will help you focus on the essential people and equipment you need to get started.

Remember, the equipment and studio you're investing in can always scale to accommodate a wide range of projects.

Step 2. Find the Right People

A lot of the success of your in-house video efforts comes down to finding the right people.

How do you get started?

If you've worked with the same freelancers on multiple projects, they're great people to consider. Many freelancers are willing to take on more stable positions instead of trying to serve multiple clients with demanding deadlines.

Tapping into your network of freelancers is great because you've already gotten a chance to take their services for a “test drive.” You're familiar with how they work, and they understand your business vision.

If you haven't had any luck with freelancers, you can always look for video talent via other channels like word-of-mouth referrals or online job boards (like ProductionHub).

Who should you look for?

  • Videographer. Someone trained to shoot video and operate a camera. Videographers can help you choose the right lighting, camera angles, and lenses to get the shot you're looking for.

  • Video producer. A “jack of all trades” who can direct, shoot, edit, and produce videos, as well as to upload them to popular platforms. Most video producers can also help you decide which equipment to buy and set up your studio. Because they have a broader range of skills than videographers, they're great choices for your first hire. You might want to have both a videographer and video producer (depending on the volume of videos you produce).

  • Writer/content developer. Every great video starts with a script. You might have someone doing content for your blog and emails, but coming up with video scrips is an entirely different skill. You could have someone from marketing handle this if your budget is tight, but you're better off hiring someone with specialized experience writing for video.

  • Campaign manager/marketer. This person understands your project goals, and is responsible for and distributing videos and tracking their performance. They act as the liaison between video production and marketing. You could have someone from marketing handle this if they've worked on other video projects in the past or have the bandwidth to take this on.

At a bare minimum, you'll probably want to hire a video producer and someone handling the marketing side (writing scripts and tracking performance on different platforms). When in doubt, start small. You can always scale your team over time.

Step 3. Decide Where Your Video Team Fits Within Your Company

A common challenge organizations face: figuring out how to integrate their new team within their organization.

This goes back to your highest priorities for video. Why are you making the investment in the first place? Do you plan to use videos in just one or two different ways, or branch out into all kinds of different contexts?

The answers to those questions will help inform how to best integrate your new hires into your current structure. If you only want to use video for one specific purpose, you're best off making your team part of that department (whether it's marketing, customer support, etc.). If you want to tap into multiple applications, it's easier to make your video team their own department.

It's always a great idea to structure your organization so your video team stays aware of major business goals and strategy decisions. The people you hire are creatives, but as employees, they have a vested interest in seeing your business succeed. The better they understand your broader business objectives, the more effective they'll be at using their creativity to achieve them.

Step 4. Empower Your Team to Succeed

Defining your top priorities and hiring the right people sets you up for video success…

But there are a few more things you can do to get the most out of your in-house investment.

First, give your video team time to succeed. It might take a while before your team sets up the studio, settles on an effective strategy for your niche, and spreads a true appreciation of the power of video throughout the rest of your business.

Next, encourage your video team to take risks and try innovative new strategies. By removing the tremendous pressure to make every single video a hit, you give your team the creative freedom to come up with something truly extraordinary. If you produce something that isn't a smash hit, you can always just produce something else without increasing your expenses.

Start small, and scale up gradually. Video can be effective in many different applications. You're better off developing your skills in one or two contexts (whether it's marketing, demo videos, customer support, etc.), reaping the benefits, and then broadening your strategy instead of trying to do everything at once.

Finally, turn to your video team for strategic input on how to expand your video presence and make it more effective. Because these people will be working closely with your video content every day, they'll come up with fresh ideas you'd never think of own your own.

A Smart Long-Term Investment In-House Video Pros

As more customers engage with brands across different channels (video, social media, etc.), developing your own in-house video team can be one of the smartest investments you make.

There's no need to blow your budget and end up overwhelmed. Start small. Take the time you need to define your top priorities and find the right people – those who understand your business vision – before scaling up your team gradually.

Your investment will pay off for years to come as you implement, track, and refine your video strategies to resonate with the people who matter the most: leads and customers.

Have you thought about hiring your own in-house video team? If you haven't started yet, what's holding you back? Leave a comment below and share your experience!